It is no secret that Z and I like animals. I have always had pets - some of them of the normal cat and dog variety and some not so normal (like turtles, snakes, tadpoles, strange fish, newts, frogs, lizards, etc.). I was lucky and had a mom who was very tolerant of me and my fascination with all things that breathe. I hope that in the future I can be that kind of mom, too (although, I will say that my mom had the advantage of a 240-acre farm....she could say "sure you can keep it - just keep it outside").
For Z and I, our pets really do become a part of our family. We have had our cats since before we were married and I know that we would both have a hard time imagining life without them. So, when we decided to adopt, we hoped and prayed we would have kids who loved them, too (and who were not allergic). The cats have always had a difficult time adjusting to new things, so when the boys came home we expected not to see the cats for several days. The cats have the run of our finished basement (which has turned into storage, laundry, and cat-haven). We expected that the cats would come upstairs, see the boys, and quickly retreat back to the safety of their basement for a while.
But that is so not what happened. Instead, the cats came upstairs and acted as though the boys had always been here. Weird.
We had been warned that the boys might not like the cats at all, since many Ghanaians think of cats as thieves. But, our boys took a look at the cats, recognized them from their pictures, and held their hands out to pet them. Within an hour or two, the boys were wanting to carry the cats around the house.
The boys and the cats are fast friends these days. Jellybean has learned that Mojo will pounce and chase light. Both boys have learned that Paka is easiest to carry because she just lays there once you pick her up (she will even let them carry her around upside down). And they know that if they pet Crickette, she will make lots of noise (talk about a vocal cat). Paka will follow Peanut around the house and will sit with him whenever he sits still long enough. At naptime, she runs upstairs to their room to cuddle up with the boys in their bed. This friendship was totally unexpected, but its nice. One less thing to worry about around here!